The Duffy Affair: Duffy case going back to senate committee
While the NDP made a national statement asking the RCMP to investigate the dealings between former chief of staff Nigel Wright and former Conservative senator Mike Duffy, the senate debated what to do with the case. Conservative senators overwhelmingly rejected Liberal calls to bring in the RCMP in favor of sending it back to the same committee that whitewashed the first audit.
Liberal Senate leader James Cowan argued the secret Wright-Duffy deal violated the privileges of parliamentarians.
“If there was a connection, if monies were paid, which would influence the decision of a Senate committee, then that is contempt of Parliament and that infringes my privileges as a senator and it infringes privileges of senators, the Senate and interferes, I think, in a spectacular way…with the independence of the Senate,” Cowan said yesterday.
Cowan argued the executive branch is interfering with senate committee proceedings looking into Duffy’s expense claims.
A special committee with powers to summon witnesses like former chief of staff Nigel Wright and Prime Minister Stephen Harper could be created if Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella agrees with Cowan’s claim the deal breached parliamentary privilege.
Conservatives shot down the Liberal motion “to the appropriate law enforcement agency” and opted to send the report back to the internal economy committee where the audit got whitewashed the first time.
Kinsella deemed the motion out of order citing the police can be brought in later on.
Cowan argued the senate lost the confidence of Canadians.
“What confidence can we have that they will allowed to do their work without political interference from outside, from the leadership in the Senate, or the House of Commons or the prime minister’s office,” Cowan said on the Senate floor.
“From what we have witnessed to date, we don’t believe Canadians would have any confidence in this proposed approach.”
This comes in a time when many questions are unanswered and Canadians demand answers. The Liberals and NDP have both asked for RCMP intervention and the best the “tough on crime” Conservatives can do is dodge the issue and cover up the Duffy affair. What do you think of the outcome in last night’s senate debate?